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Book Club: Creative Strength Training

Weave Through Winter: Days 26-28 and Final Thoughts

During February, I participated in "Weave Through Winter," a project led by Helen Hiebert.  The challenge was to create a paper weaving every single day in February. Here are my previous posts about this challenge:

For the final 3 days, I wanted to think about how I might integrate weaving into my regular artistic practice.  I figured it would be a good fit with bookbinding, which I do a lot of, so I made a few books with woven elements.  Take a peek:

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This is a woven concertina.  It's nice in the photo, but really stunning in this short video I made:

I have to say, I think this book would make a great little class!  Something to think about.

For the final two days of the challenge, I used the same basic book format, but played with how the weaving integrated with the cover of the book.

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I'm really obsessed with tissue paper at the moment and this final weaving was done with some laminated tissue paper. I think the weaving pattern could be more interesting, but I like the overall idea.

After 28 days of daily paper weaving, here are my thoughts:

  • I did a bit of searching through the blog archives and discovered that I've had a fascination with weaving for quite some time. 
    • In 2007-2008, I was deep into bead weaving.  You can read this post about "right angle weave."  Another 2008 post about the "woven mariposa."  Here's a 2007 post where I share some bead weaving projects.
    • In 2009, I wrote a blog post about an afternoon loom weaving workshop I took.  
    • In 2009, I also shared a short tutorial on creating a woven card for Valentine's Day.  I even drew a little chart on how to weave!
    • In 2011, I shared a mini art quilt that began with weaving.
    • In 2018, Mom and I took an afternoon workshop in "Byzantine Weaving."  You can see a photo here.
    • In 2020 I made faux woven quilt and blogged about it.
  • Knowing that weaving isn't actually brand new to me, reinforces a notion I've had for a while: We are who we are.  You can learn new skills and incorporate new ideas into what you create, but at the heart of it, each of us has certain things that we are both consciously and unconsciously interested in.  One of the things I teach in Boot Camp is self-awareness.  In the end, making art you like it always based on knowing your own taste. 
    • As I told my two-year-old son (about food, not art -- but it still applies): We each have our own unique taste.  We don't have to like the same things.  But we don't say, "yucky," to things other people like.  They're allowed to have their own taste.
  • One of the things that attracts me to weaving as a concept is that it is perfectly aligned with my ongoing need to mush disparate things together and see what happens.  Looking through all the "Weave Through Winter" participants' work, I can see that I often make "odd" or different choices about colors/patterns to mix.  This is also true of the art I make.  It can be aggressive.
  • That said, I was surprised by how contrasting papers worked differently when weaving them together as opposed to collaging them.  The regularity of weaving -- even when weaving an irregular pattern -- does tend to change the visual rhythm of pieces.
  • Weaving is super time consuming.  Paper weaving is definitely faster than weaving with fiber, but it's still a slow process.  I spent HOURS on some pieces that turned out terribly. Alas. But, as you know, you only from failure.  So thank goodness I failed so often!
  • I'm going to need to think a bit more about how weaving integrates into my current art practice.  I do think that bookbinding is a fine place to begin. But I also think there are other opportunities I haven't discovered yet.  So, I need to stay alert and be on the look out.
  • Also, over the course of the month 100 different people sent me a link to Galen Gibson-Cornell who weaves street posters together.  These are two of his coolest (in my opinion) videos  -- the first one features his super neat magnet technique for hanging his work and the second is a peek at the paper weaving process:

Personally, I like his really abstract work best:

Though, some of the faces are just too cool:

Obviously, his very sophisticated weaving work makes mine look like child's play.  And that's okay.  I'm a beginner.  If you need a reminder: Don't compare your beginning to someone else's middle or end.  In fact, don't compare yourself at all.  Breathe in the inspiration and get to work!!!

Thanks for stopping by!

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P.S. Hope to see you at Book Club today at 12:15pm EST.  Also streaming live on Facebook.  Book Club is FREE and open to all.

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